This is a post that is close to my heart. I cannot tell you how many years I walked around with a huge chip on my shoulder.
In the past, any number of things might set me off. I had all these notions of what it was to be a man. I wanted and felt I deserved respect. Whenever I felt wronged, I would spend days, weeks, months plotting how I was going to get back at that person. I would go over it in my head and work myself up. You know the old saying the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, yet expecting a different outcome? That was me!
It’s important to realize that nobody else has the power to make you angry. When another person does something that we don’t like or that affects us negatively, we have the power to control how we respond.
When I began to see that I could control my reaction to any situation, and that getting angry to get back at others was only hurting myself, I began to realize that my reactions to situations in life were actually holding me back.
When situations arose and I felt myself becoming angry, I made a conscious decision instead that I was not going that route. I started to slowly see changes in myself. Life is a work in progress.
One of the ways I have learned a lot about anger is through Jiu Jitsu. Jiu Jitsu is human chess and you must relax and set up moves sometimes six ahead of your opponent. There is no way you can compete when you are angry. If you react in anger to your opponent, you will make foolish moves, waste energy and take foolish chances that will hurt you in the end. It’s the same in life when you react to others in anger.
I still struggle with my bad attitude when things are tough or I’m having a bad day. I start to take it out on people around me instead of realizing that they have nothing to do with why I am upset. When I realize that, it is then up to me to put a stop to it.
For now I will keep working on always being aware of my attitude and consciously choosing not to react in anger.
In your anger do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil.
My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.
Fools give full vent to their rage, but the wise bring calm in the end.